Report on Immigration to Canada (1906)

Harbour Scene at Montreal.

Harbour Scene at Montreal. The full development of Montreal is hampered to some extent by the lack of attention given to the St Lawrence by the Dominion Government. It is pleasing to know that this is to be changed, the Shipping Federation of Canada having received an assurance that the work of deepening the ship channel to 40 ft . with a width necessary to accommodate the growing size of ocean steamships. is to be proceeded with. The Syren & Shipping Illustrated, 24 June 1908. GGA Image ID # 147322257a

The report of the Superintendent of Immigration upon the work of this branch of the department will be found under Part II of the general report.

As a result of the system of classification which was inaugurated some time ago, a statement is now submitted by the superintendent from which the origin of new arrivals may be readily ascertained.

This has involved much careful work of checking on the part of his officers, both at headquarters, at seaports and at the Winnipeg office, which is the main distributing point. However, it may be stated that the figures given are strictly accurate.

The past year has been the most successful one in the history of the country, in so far as immigration is concerned. The total number of arrivals has been 146,266, the largest on record.

Not only are these results satisfactory from a numerical point of view, but when it is considered that 98,902 of these immigrants, or more than two-thirds of the total arrivals, come from the British Isles and the United States.

And that our agents throughout the west are unanimous in their appreciation of the class of settlers who have located in Manitoba and the new provinces during the past season, I think that this is an achievement on the part of those who have been instrumental in framing our present immigration policy for which every Canadian should feel grateful.

In a young country like Canada, with its small population, its extensive territory, and unlimited natural resources, it is of paramount importance, from a national standpoint, that the assimilation of the foreign elements that are brought in should proceed gradually.

However, under present conditions, when nearly one hundred thousand Englishmen, speaking the same language, and having the same .aspirations as ourselves, are added to our population in the short space of twelve months, there is little ground to fear that the national character can ever be impaired.

All danger in this respect, if danger there ever was, has now disappeared, and it is to be hoped that the methods followed in the past in this relation will not fail to have the same beneficial results in the future.

British Immigration to Canada

There were in all 55,359 arrivals from Great Britain and Ireland during the year, being an increase of 14,985 over the previous twelve months. There would appear to be no doubt today that what determined the movement of population from England to Canada was the systematic propaganda that was inaugurated four or five years ago by the department.

Before that time Canada was almost unknown to the rural classes in the old country. Now it is favourably known, and what did more than anything else to bring about a change in the minds of the agricultural classes in England was the dissemination throughout the entire kingdom, by experienced agents, or successful farmers from Manitoba and the Northwest, of reliable information with regard to the resources and possibilities of Canada.

It is gratifying to note that, judging from present indications, there is every reason to believe that the emigration from the British Isles to Canada during the present fiscal year will far exceed the number of arrivals during the previous twelve months.

United States Settlers to Canada

There has been a slight falling off in the number of arrivals from the United States. However, the number is still very large, and the general result of our work there has been highly satisfactory.

The settlers are of the very best class, and in most cases possessed of considerable means, It is proposed to continue with increased vigor the efforts put forth in the past to sustain and stimulate this movement of population.

Medical Inspection of Immigrants to Canada

Steerage Passenger Inspection & Vaccination Card - Canadian Port of Entry (Quebec) - 1912.

Steerage Passenger Inspection & Vaccination Card - Canadian Port of Entry (Quebec) - 1912 for Immigrant William (Wm.) Cudby on the SS Corsican Departing from Liverpool 27 June 1912 and Arriving in Quebec 4 July 1912. He Cleared Immigration the Following Day. Immigration Documentation Collection, Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives. GGA Image ID # 776afd26e4

Attention is called to the report of the Chief Medical Inspector upon the work of his office during the past season. As will be noted from this report, a very complete and defective system of medical inspection has now been established on a most satisfactory basis.

On the whole, the incoming settlers during the past year were found to be of a very healthy class, and it is satisfactory to note that of the 102,723 persons who arrived in the country at ocean ports, only 496 were deported on account of disease. With the effective regulations now in force, there is no possibility of any immigrants suffering from infectious or contagious diseases being allowed to enter the country.

British Immigrant Children

The report of Mr. G. Bogue Smart, Chief Inspector of British Immigrant Children and Receiving Homes, will be read with interest, as the returns, which it contains as regards the present condition and progress of this class of immigration, are very satisfactory.

The inspection of these children, who are being sent to Canada in ever increasing numbers, is now being conducted on a systematic basis. The work involved is considerable, as thousands of the children are scattered throughout every section of the country, and according to the terms of an arrangement with the home government, each child must be visited annually by one of the inspectors of the department, and a report as to his condition made to the Board of Guardians in England.

It is gratifying to observe from Mr. Smart's report that on the whole, these children are doing remarkably well in their new homes and that a large number of those sent some years ago are turning out today to be prosperous and law-abiding citizens.

Comparative Statement of Arrivals at Inland and Ocean Ports During The Ten Years Ending June 30, 1905

Arrivals To Canada


Great Britain and Ireland

Continent and Iceland

United States






















1899-1900 (Note 1)






























Note 1: Arrival for six months only.

“Immigration.” In Annual Report of the Department of the Interior For The Year 1904-1905, Report of the Deputy Minister, Sessional Paper No. 25, 5-6 Edward VII, A. 1906, Ottawa: S. E. Dawson, 1906, Page 28-30.

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